Evidence Based Practice Implementation in a Rural, Community Hospital Using the Clinical Scholar Model: A Pilot Project

Jill Cornelison, Eastern Kentucky University


Disparities found within rural, community hospitals such as financial unsteadiness and small workforces pose a challenge for leaders in determining the most effective means to implement evidence-based practice (EBP). Adding to this dilemma are barriers to EBP implementation (EBPI) such as staff’s lack of time, lack of EBP knowledge, and perceived lack of administrative support. Mentoring has been shown to facilitate EBPI. The purpose of this pilot project was to evaluate the effects of an educational intervention using the Clinical Scholar (CS) model on nurses’ beliefs about and use of EBP behaviors in a rural, community hospital. The CS model focuses on the development of frontline-nursing EBP mentors. A convenience sample of seventeen nurses participated in a four-week long educational program on the steps of EBP, followed by 24 hours of available on-site mentoring by the principal investigator. An organizational assessment of readiness for EBPI was done prior to the education. Pre-and post-test t tests were conducted on mean scores measuring nurses’ EBP beliefs and use of EBPI behaviors. Nurses reported higher scores on EBP beliefs (p < .01) following the intervention. No statistical significance was seen in EBPI behaviors. The findings of this pilot project suggest that use of the CS model to develop bedside EBP mentors has value in the rural, community setting to increase nurses’ beliefs about EBP. Administrative support for release time to attend educational endeavors is essential.